Page 8 - Coordinator's Handbook
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meaning. It is both relationship and revelation. It is both the faith by which one believes, a relationship of total adherence, and the faith which one believes—the content of revelation, the Christian message (NDC 45).What Is the Lectionary?The lectionary is the Church’s book of scripture readings, organized for reading aloud at worship. The Sunday lectionary selects from the 73 books of the Bible the scripture passages tobe read aloud on the Sundays ofthe liturgical year. The lectionary subordinates 69 of the Bible’sbooks to the four it considersmost important—the Gospels that proclaim Jesus. It chooses first readings, usually from the Old Testament but during the Easter season from the Acts of the Apostles, to connect the Gospels with God’s love revealed in the history of Israel and with the Spirit’s activity in the early days of the Church.The Pflaum Gospel Weeklies bring rich portions of scripture into young people’s lives, the richer scriptural fare the Second Vatican Council placed on the table of the Word when it created a three-year cycle of readings to replace the former one-year cycle. In the plan of the three-cycle Sunday lectionary, the Church hears major portionsof all four Gospels and remembers significant moments in the history of God’s love for Israel.The lectionary organizes the readings of the liturgical year around the chronological order of the Gospel narratives, which recount Jesus’ birth and baptism, his public ministry in Galilee, and his teaching in Jerusalem, where he suffers,dies, and is raised up to new life. The Cycle A scripture readingscenter on Jesus’ story as the Gospel of Matthew proclaims it. Cycle B follows Mark’s Gospel. Cycle C follows Luke’s Gospel. The Church reads from John’s Gospel during Lent in Cycles A and B, on the Sundays of Easter each year, and on several Sundays in Ordinary Time, mainly in Cycle B.The Lectionary Is a Privileged Source of CatechesisThe lectionary and liturgicalyear are a privileged means of catechesis (NDC 110). The Sunday cycles of lectionary readings bring the mystery of Jesus’ life into the ongoing mystery of the lives of those who gather for worship. In the feasts and seasons of the liturgical year—Christmas, Easter, every Lord’s Day—we celebrate and live the faith our Creed professes.“Because the Gospels narrate the life of Jesus and the mysteryof our redemption after Christand the Reign of God that he proclaimed, catechesis will also be centered on Christ if the Gospels occupy a pivotal place within it. ... They transmit the life, message, and saving actions of Jesus Christ and express the teaching that was proposed to the first Christian communities. Catechesis mustbe centered in the Gospels, because ‘Jesus Christ is their center’” (NDC 76).The roots of liturgical catechesis lie in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), which uses the Sunday scriptures as its ongoing source of catechesis. The Second Vatican Council restored the riteas the model of faith formation for people seeking to learn about Jesus, find faith, and seek membership in the Catholic Church.As a model, the RCIA offers a vision of catechesis as a continuing process of transformation. “The model for all catechesis is the baptismal catechumenate when,by specific formation, an adult converted to belief is brought to explicit profession of baptismal faith during the Paschal Vigil. This catechumenal formation should inspire the other forms of catechesis in both their objectives and their dynamism” (GDC #59).The RCIA restores the catechumenate, a multistage process of formation that includes instruction, rituals to celebrate milestones on each person’s faith journey, and reflection together with sponsors on the Sunday scriptures. With the RCIA, the Pflaum Gospel Weeklies understand the purpose of catechesis as more than information and knowledge, though both are invaluable. The ultimate aim of catechesis is conversion to active faith in Jesus.The Second Vatican Council reminds us that our praying (worship) shapes our believing (faith), not the other way around. That is why the Council affirms liturgy as the prime source of instruction for most adults. The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy explains, “Although the sacred liturgy is above all things the worship of the divine Majesty,it likewise contains abundant instruction for the faithful” (Constitution of the Sacred Liturgy #3). In the liturgy God still speaks to us and Jesus is still proclaiming his Gospel.The liturgical catechesis of the Pflaum Gospel Weeklies readies young people to participate actively in the Sunday worship of parish communities where they experience the mystery of God present in the here and now as Christians gather in Jesus’ name. At liturgy these young people, who are growing up8

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